Sanford Berman: father of radical cataloging

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: Jun 17th, 2012

Unless you’re a librarian or going to school to become one, it’s pretty unlikely you’ve ever heard of Sanford Berman. By the time you finish this blog post, he might just edge out your friendly neighborhood zine librarian for the title of “raddest librarian”

As any librarian can tell you, thorough and accurate description of an item is hard work. In the library world, we use controlled vocabularies so that information can be organized, found and retrieved efficiently and effectively. Since the Library of Congress is so huge, they’ve done a lot of the work of describing A LOT of books. It would make sense then that the most commonly used controlled vocabulary for cataloging in the English speaking world is the LC Subject heading list. There are a lot of problems with that list! The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States of America and as a result of that, their subject heading list carries the biases inherent in that. One example: LCSH uses the heading “Burma” for “Republic of the Union of Myanmar” and “Armenian Massacre” for “Armenian Genocide”.

So what does this have to do with Sanford Berman? In 1968 Berman moved to Lusaka, Zambia and worked as a library assistant at the University of Zambia’s library. Like thousands of other libraries all over the world the University of Zambia used LCSH subject headings in their catalogs. When it was brought to Berman’s attention that one of these headings was a term akin to a highly offensive racial epithet in the U.S., the seeds for his seminal work, the 1971 book, Prejudices and Antipathies: A Tract on the LC Subject Heads Concerning People. In the introduction to Prejudices and Antipathies Berman lays it down:

…In the realm of headings that deal with people and cultures — in short, with humanity — the LC list can only ‘satisfy’ parochial, jingoistic Europeans and North Americans, white-hued, at least nominally Christian (and preferably Protestant) in faith, comfortably situated in the middle and higher-income brackets, lagely domiciled in suburbia, fundamentally loyal to the established order, and heavily imbued with the transcendent, incomparable glory of western civilization. Further, it reflects a host of untenable – indeed, obsolete and arrogant assumptions.

Tireless in his efforts to rid the Library of Congress subject heading list of “humanity-degrading, intellect-constricting rubbish” Berman sent letters like THIS and THIS much to the chagrin (and sometimes annoyance) of LC catalogers. He started Fully aware of injustice in the real world (not that the “bibliographic universe” isn’t part of the “real world”…) Berman didn’t limit himself to calling out LC. HERE is a letter he sent to American Libraries after the Occupy Wall Street Library was trashed, and HERE is to President Obama about Egypt.

“Zine” is now an official LC subject term thanks to Berman, as is “Transgender People”. THIS “scorecard” shows changes to LC’s subject list made just between 2004 – 2009…pretty awesome.

If you’re interested in reading more about Sanford Berman check out this awesome web zine: KISS MY FILING INDICATORS #1


New Bike Parking!

Written By: kimberly Published: Jun 11th, 2012

We now have TONS of bike parking right in front of Papercut/Lorem Ipsum! Stop by on your ride on this gorgeous day, we will be open from 2-7 PM.


Couch Surfing Zine Making Meetup

Written By: drawmedy Published: Jun 2nd, 2012

Just in time for the start of the summer couch surfing season, Papercut hosted a zine release for “A Couch Surfers Guide to Some Fun Stuff to do in Boston” and a zine making meetup for other ‘surfers.  It was really fun!  If we were to have more themed zine making meetups, what would kind of zine would you want to make??  (You can get a copy of the couch surfing guide to Boston by donating to Papercut!  Find more info here.)


More Updates on Our Birthday Festivities!

Written By: Papercut Zine Library Published: May 15th, 2012


Featuring live music acts: The Low TideFat Creeps and Birthdays!

and local zines released and showcased by:

High 5! The funnest and finest bi-weekly listing of free and cheap events available.
Bay State Badass #2! Brand new second issue of the lady-centric bike zine taking the streets by storm.
Today Belongs to You by Andrue Coombes
Nothing Mattress comics by Brian Connolly
New Vision by the Chubby Behemoth
Miss Sequential’s Sketchbook
Assorted Comic Zines by Liz Prince
Assorted Zines by Chelsea Dirck
Todo Sobre Mi Madre
Rihanna by Coorain Devin. About Rihanna and how her image functions in our culture.

Also check out this month’s mini-exhibit on lady-licious bike zines!

Hope to see you there!

*RSVP on Facebook, if you like.


PARTY|BIRTHDAY|ZINES

Written By: Betty Slutsky Published: May 7th, 2012

PARTY! Papercut Turns Seven / New Zines Getting Released!

Saturday May 19, 2012
8PM
LIVE MUSIC FROM THE LOW TIDE!
Also Fat Creeps
AND BIRTHDAYS!



In these kooky digital days, some have wondered whether zines are still relevant. The New York Times and the thriving existence of zine libraries like Papercut would indicate that YES! Zines are a living medium! In our seven years we have signed up ~1500 members and accumulated ~15,000 zines, placing us among the largest zine collections in the world! Aren’t you lucky to live near us?

Yes. So take advantage of your proximity and come on over to 1299 Cambridge Street 02139 on May 19th for food, fun, music, and NEW ZINES!
We invite zinesters to bring their new zines to sell/distribute. Contact papercut at riseup dot net if you want to add your zine to the party.

Zine list thus far:
High 5! The funnest and finest bi-weekly listing of free and cheap events available.
Bay State Badass #2! Brand new second issue of the lady-centric bike zine taking the streets by storm.
Today Belongs to You by Andrue Coombes
Nothing Mattress by Brian Connolly
New Vision by the Chubby Behemoth
Assorted Comic Zines by Liz Prince
Assorted Zines by Chelsea Dirck
Miss Sequential’s Sketchbook
Todo Sobre Mi Madre
Rihanna by Coorain Devin. About Rihanna and how her image functions in our culture.

There will be live music and snackies. Come and bring friends and zines!
Leave with new zines and maybe new friends ^_^

Also, check out this month’s zine exhibit: lady-ful bike zines!


New High 5s and Slingshots in

Written By: kimberly Published: May 3rd, 2012

Just in time for the weekend. New Slingshot and High-5s on display.

Bonus hours today (Thursday) from 3:30-5pm. Come hang out.


PCZL Invades Wesern Mass!

Written By: kimberly Published: Apr 30th, 2012

We’d like to thank Food For Thought Books and everyone who was involved in making the Zine Fest possible! Lex and I had a blast tabling this year and meeting some of our favorite zinesters. I did a pretty low-key workshop on Saturday about Zines, Papercut, and the importance of independent media (“What’s a zine, anyway?”) that I hope folks enjoyed. Here’s some pictures from Food For Thought from the event! (More here)

Here I am tabling next to Kim Funk and Suzi X!!

Here are our buddies Brian (Nothing Mattress) and Chelsea tabling. Chelsea designed our membership cards and big-buttons ~ and also lent us her buttonmaker for some last minute merch-making. Thanks Chelsea!

Vicky and Hanna tabling High 5, a zine that is made in the same building as Papercut. Ruuules.


Pioneer Valley Zine Fest!

Written By: kimberly Published: Apr 23rd, 2012

Pioneer Valley Zine Fest is a three day event that strives to bring accessibility to DIY zine making as well as supporting radical independent publishing. Our goal is to bring writers, activists, artists and community members together through sharing, connecting, and collaborating.

Zines, which are written in a variety of formats, strive to set importance on bringing literature, art, and politics out of a profit oriented industry. This lets information that is often exlusive to academic or privileged spheres available to a more general public. Zines offer a founding basis of Do-it-yourself “DIY” communities and encourage anyone to write fiction, non fiction, or anything else without the need of a publisher.

Papercut will be tabling at this on Saturday, so look out for our table!


Papercut Tables at Spring Zine Thing

Written By: drawmedy Published: Apr 15th, 2012

Today we got to table at the “Spring Zine Thing,” a zine fair put on by Somerville community members at the Washington Street Art Center.  It was a great event with lots of local artists and zinesters.  Check out the list below to see some of the great zines and zine-making groups in the Boston area!

Because the Boss Belongs to Us :: www.alanakumbier.com
Miss Sequential :: http://marissaland.com/
Trees and Hills Comic Group :: http://treesandhills.org/
Easy Jaws :: http://onlives.net/2010/07/10/easy-jawz/
The Thunderboom Review of Things :: thundrboom.wordpress.com
i left this here for you to read :: http://timdevin.com/ileftthishereforyoutoread-about.html
Zombie Romance :: http://www.etsy.com/shop/zombieromance?section_id=5158623
No Thoughts :: http://www.nothoughtszine.com/
Cake Time :: http://caketimezine.tumblr.com/
Colin Tedford :: http://colintedford.com/
Coloring and Sketch Book :: www.catcraig.com
Moral Relativism :: http://moralrelativism.com/
Nothing Mattress :: http://nothingmattress.tumblr.com/
Lady Fest Boston :: http://ladyfestboston.blogspot.com/
Megan’s Zine About Something :: http://meganmary.com/


Papercut and Lorem Ipsum host Heels on Wheels!

Written By: drawmedy Published: Apr 15th, 2012

Last week we were excited to host the glitter roadshow “Heels on Wheels” along with Lorem Ipsum in the bookstore space.  The show features a whole slew of amazing performance artists, with a focus on giving voice to queer artist on the femme(inine) spectrum.  The show includes poetry, puppetry, movement, storytelling, and all kindsa awesome stuff.  It’s great to be able to host and partner with such fab, creative folks!


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